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A Chef’s Call to Action Feeds Puerto Rico

José Andrés shows how one decision to help others after Hurricane Maria turned into a powerful act of everyday greatness.

José Andrés

I’ve mentioned before that I write this editor’s note months prior to our magazine’s publication. The world could be a very different place by the time you read this, in ways that could not have been predicted. That always gives me pause.

Last spring when I wrote the August note, no one could have foreseen the natural disasters that would befall our country that summer—hurricanes, floods, forest fires—seeming to strike all at once. As if nature were throwing a tantrum, a reminder of how powerless we are in the face of such awesome strength.

You know what could have been predicted? Citizens standing up for their fellow citizens, people giving all they had for people who had lost everything. In the floodwaters of Houston and the infernos in Northern California, the storm surges along the Florida coasts and the heartbreaking destruction on Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, people reached out to help other people. Time and again throughout our history, the extraordinary efforts of ordinary people have seen us through our darkest hours.

Consider our cover subject, Chef José Andrés. He arrived in Puerto Rico in the immediate aftermath of Maria with two backpacks of survival gear and as much cash as he could withdraw from an ATM. In the end, he served three million meals with the help of 20,000 volunteers, whose efforts he and his fellow chefs tirelessly marshaled. As Chef Andrés told Senior Editor Celeste McCauley, every person they fed became a new volunteer willing to help.

Guideposts is launching a new initiative to recognize individuals who perform selfless acts for the benefit of others, acts both small and large. We are calling this initiative Everyday Greatness, and you can help. Is there someone in your community deserving of recognition? Send us their story. As Chef Andrés told us, “You don’t have to solve all the world’s problems. Sometimes you just have to do one humble thing.”

One humble thing. It is what God expects of us; it is what all of us can do.

To submit a story for Everyday Greatness, click here.

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